General Election 2017: Theresa May clings to power - hoping to get by with a little help from friends in DUP [Photos] Close
DUP leader Arlene Foster has said she will enter talks with Theresa May to "explore how it may be possible to bring stability to our nation" to form a new government with the Conservative party.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will work with her "friends and allies" in the DUP to provide certainty for the UK in its forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
Mrs Foster said: "I make no apology for saying that the DUP will always strive for the best deal for Northern Ireland and its people. But equally, we want the best for all of the United Kingdom."
Following an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, the Prime Minister said she was confident that she would be able to work with the Democratic Unionists at Westminster in a new administration.
"I will now form a Government - a Government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country," she said.
The pro-Brexit DUP, which returned 10 MPs to Westminster, has found itself kingmaker in the hung Parliament. Both DUP and Sinn Fein were the big winners on the night with the SDLP and UUP wiped out in Northern Ireland. Such a result represents a seismic shift in the power dynamic between the rival nationalist and republican parties.
Results in full:
In one of the biggest upsets, Ulster Unionist Danny Kinahan lost his set to the DUP’s Paul Girvan in South Antrim, who had a 3,208 majority.
In Foyle, Sinn Fein took the long-held SDLP seat from Mark Durkan.
Independent Lady Sylvia Hermon was the first Northern Ireland MP to be elected just after 1.10am on Friday morning although her majority of 9,202 was slashed to 1,200.
She was closely followed by Jim Shannon (DUP) in Strangford, returned in Strangford with an increased majority of 18,343.
Gregory Campbell (DUP) was comfortably returned in East Londonderry, as was Sinn Fein’s Paul Maskey in West Belfast.
Mr Maskey said his 27,101 tally was the highest Sinn Fein vote in the constituency.
Alliance leader Naomi Long conceded defeat to the DUP’s Gavin Robinson in East Belfast before a result was declared.
Turnout in most constituencies was very close to the figures in the March Assembly election, and up on the 2015 Westminster election.
Mrs Foster said: “We fought this election on the importance of the Union and I think people really responded to that. It’s going to be a good night for the Union.”